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ATHENS 2004 | REPORT

U.S. Gets Medal on Appeal

August 22, 2004|From Associated Press

France was awarded the gold medal in the three-day equestrian team event at the Athens Games and Britain's Leslie Law got the individual gold after three countries won an appeal against a decision that gave both victories to Germany.

The ruling Saturday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport drops Germany to fourth in the team event. Britain gets silver and the United States the bronze.

Because the team event was also a qualifier for the individual medals, the decision stripped Bettina Hoy of her gold medal, giving it to Law. American Kim Severson moved up to silver and Pippa Funnell of Britain took bronze.

Initially, the judges gave Germany the gold, France the silver and Britain the bronze. But the same officials, concerned that Hoy might have crossed the start line twice on the show-jumping course, then docked Germany 14 points, dropping it from first place to fourth with 147.8 points in a decision that lifted the United States to third.

Germany then lodged a protest, an equestrian appeals committee reversed the judges' decision and the Germans reclaimed their gold. Again, France was awarded the silver and Britain the bronze. The United States was left empty-handed.

The appeal submitted by the three countries to the court challenged whether the equestrian appeal committee had the jurisdiction to overturn the judges' decision. The court said the International Equestrian Federation did not have the right to overturn the decision.

The decision cannot be appealed.

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Thousands of moths have swarmed over the Panathinaiko Stadium in central Athens, the home of the first modern Games in 1896 and the venue for archery at this year's Olympics.

Korean archer Im Dong-Hyun was about to shoot in the teams competition on Saturday when one fluttered in front of him.

Games officials said the moths, from the adjacent National Gardens, were a common summer pest and were attracted to the white marble and brilliant artificial grass on the range.

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